Romania’s President Trian Basescu looks to be heading for re-election according to official results. Earlier exit polls had put his rival in the lead. But with ballots counted from 95 percent of polling stations, the country’s election bureau says he has won just over 50% of the vote in Sunday’s run-off.
The centre-right incumbent, who has promised to fight corruption, spoke before jubliant supporters: “Victory in this election is thanks to the Romanian people. Five million Romanians showed they made a clear choice towards modernising Romania.” The knife-edge vote also saw Basescu’s rival claim victory on Sunday night. The left-wing challenger, former foreign minister Mircea Geoana, held a triumphant rally in Bucharest after he seemed to be in the lead. The results now put him narrowly behind on 49 and a half percent. The vote is one of the most important since the end of communism. The winner’s first task will be to form a government to try to unblock an IMF rescue deal for the crisis-hit economy, suspended because of the political uncertainty.